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Babysitters: Steps To Finding A Good One

Apr 18, 2008
With the way that the world is today, you have to use caution when dealing with other people in any given situation. The trust that we took for granted when we were younger has virtually disappeared. This is especially true when screening babysitters. There are many of these "caregivers" that range from being incompetent to actually being a danger to your child. There are a few simple precautions that you can take to ensure that you hire a capable childcare provider.

If the child care provider that you are interested in cares for several children, most states require that they have a license as well as regular health inspections of their home or center. You should ask for the phone numbers to contact the other parents of the children that the babysitter is caring for so that you can get their feedback about the quality of care that their children are receiving. You should also ask to see the caregiver's license and any other documentation that they may have to ensure that everything is in order. You also may want to ensure that the care giver is child CPR-certified, and that their certification is current. This certification is also required in most states. You can also contact the babysitter's local health department to discover if the provider has ever had any health violations and if they have, discover exactly what steps were taken to resolve the issues. These violations are public record so you should have no problem in acquiring them. If the caregiver has had more than one minor violation, you may want to acquire childcare elsewhere.

When obtaining the services of a "private" (non-licensed) babysitter, you should be extremely cautious. You should draw up an application, asking the questions that you feel are important. You want to be sure that you have a space for the potential childcare giver's social security number and references. You might also want to ask for any certification, be it child CPR or certificates for completion of courses in child care. This will give you an idea of how much training the potential babysitter has had. After they have filled out the application, schedule a follow-up interview at a later date to give yourself time to check out the information that they have given you. The first thing that you may want to do is to use their social security number to do a criminal background check. This check can be done through your local law enforcement agency and can help reveal if the applicant has substance abuse problems or more importantly, a history as a sex offender. Once you are satisfied with the criminal background check, you should then check the applicant's references to ensure that these contacts are professional and not personal. Now that you have completed a thorough check of the potential babysitter's criminal and professional background, the next step is the interviewing process.

When scheduling the interview, you may ask the applicant to dress professionally to assess how they carry themselves, or casually if you plan to have them play with your children. The second strategy can give you an idea of how the potential babysitter will interact with your child. Once you have completed all of the previous steps and feel confident in the applicant's abilities, you can then hire them.

A babysitter has the most important job in the world and that is the care of your children. This person will have close contact with your family so choose someone that you feel comfortable with and you will both have a successful working relationship.
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